Bullet seating on hunting rounds

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by tlk, Apr 10, 2010.

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  1. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2008
    I am doing a ladder test on a rifle, and a suggestion was made to start .010 jammed onto the lands and work from there. But does this make sense? Wouldn't the pressures be different than if I end up off of the lands? Shouldn't I use with the depth that I am going to go with? I was thinking that for a reliable hunting round I should be off the lands some, correct?

    Any experienced help here would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2005
    Stupidity esp. on a hunting rifle and even worse on a factory built gun. My bullets are marked with a black marker and when there are “marks” where each land is touching they are backed off .010 which is really not enough (hunting rifles) but I will take the chance because my ammo is babied just like my competition ammo. Do not have the time to go into the detail now but maybe someone else will
  3. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    If I were doing a ladder test for a hunting rifle I would start with bullets loaded to magazine length. Ideally, that is where you want to find a good load. The last place I would look for a good hunting load is where bullets are loaded into the rifling.

    Sometimes it isn't even possible to load bullets into the rifling of a factory rifle because there may be so much freebore that the bullets won't be sitting deeply enough in the case neck to work.
  4. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2009

    Yes. Definitely.



  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    If you are just shooting toad frogs around the house then accuracy may not matter much. At long range accuracy becomes more important. If your bullet likes to be jammed and provides best accuracy there then you can make your decision on whether to accept less accuracy or to hunt with the bullet jammed. Some bullets don't seem to care very much one way or the other.

    In beginning a load development it is easier to start with the bullet jammed and then back off which means your pressure decreases and you do not have to adjust powder. If you start with the bullet backed off then as you get closer and closer to the lands your pressures are going to go up. This may not be a big deal if you are not at max pressure when you begin looking for the best seating depth.

    In one of my rifles which I hunt with each year the bullets are jammed and pressure is maxed out and it is really accurate that way. Of course I have once lost a bullet in the barrel and had to grab a cleaning rod and tap it out but even so I still made the kill on the animal.

    If you believe you are going to need 14 or 15 bullet to kill a toad frog then by all means make sure you seat to mag length. :D
  6. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003
    My guns are all single shot, so I could set depth anywhere.
    But to begin(with a ladder) I start 5thou off, and mind my velocities per cluster.
    Once I've chosen a cluster to work in, I tighter tweak powder, then bullet seating, then primer crush(for lowest ES).

    For me jammed is a faith based go/no-go test with a seperate ladder, as resultant velocities fall on a completely different scale(between jammed & off).
    In otherwords, since jammed is not adjustable, it either works well at some load or it doesn't.

    Much as I've tried, none of my barrel/bullets have shot 'best' jammed. Good yes. Best no..
    I don't run extreme pressures, and my chambers are tight, so my faith is waning lately for jammed as worthy to check.